September 11, 2011 |
Dear Liz: I was laid off in November 2009. For the first year, I took the unemployment and tried to find a job without success. So, in late 2010, I started my own business, contracting mainly for employers for whom I used to work. Unfortunately, I am making about a third of what I used to make, and even after cutting expenses, there are months that I can't pay my bills. I have taken two withdrawals from my self-directed IRA this year. Is that the smartest thing to do? Or should I even out my cash flow by writing myself loans from my home equity line of credit?
December 18, 2011 |
Dear Liz: We are getting coaching from a finance advisor. He suggests using a home equity line of credit as investment capital. Your opinion on this? Answer: You're not dealing with a financial advisor who has your best interests at heart. You're dealing with a salesman who is mostly, if not solely, concerned about the commission he's going to earn from selling you an insurance or investment product should you take his unsound advice. Borrowing to invest is a risky strategy.
September 25, 2011 |
Like a lot of middle-aged people these days, Nancy Lomen, 50, is thinking about retraining for a new career. What the San Gabriel resident and her husband, Bill, 64, are trying to figure out is whether a $60,000 investment in Nancy's education is a smart bet at their ages. They have two children, one in college and another who will be in college next year, and little in the way of retirement savings. "I've been thinking and dreaming about becoming a registered nurse midwife for a good 10 years," Nancy said.
August 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Hard economic times have helped push millions of Americans deeply into debt, plunging many into a dark world filled with relentless collection agents, aggressive lawyers and companies that profit mightily if they can get people to pay up. Aided by outdated laws and lax oversight, debt collection has become a $12-billion-a-year business as people increasingly have fallen behind on their bills for credit cards, student loans, hospital stays...
March 30, 2012 |
Economists generally don't go into politics, which is probably a good thing for Christopher Thornberg , who has declared war on Proposition 13 . The popular 1978 ballot measure that capped property taxes in California is “one of the most horrendous, unfair, regressive taxes in the history of the United States,” the former UCLA economist declared at a televised hearing in Sacramento earlier this month. (You can view it here , starting at about 31:36 minutes.) Zap!
March 1, 2008 |
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a regulatory filing that it expected about $450 million in home equity loan losses for the first quarter, and that home equity losses could be double that by the fourth quarter. The filing elaborated on information given to investors during JPMorgan's Investor Day on Wednesday, when bank executives said they expected loan charge-offs to increase sharply in 2008.
August 19, 2012 |
Dear Liz: I co-signed some private student loans for my youngest child. She graduated two years ago with about $80,000 in student debt, including federal and private loans. Like many other recent graduates, she has had a difficult time finding a job. She worked part time at a retail store until about a month ago and made around $7,000 annually. I have been helping her make reduced payments and she has gotten deferments and income-based repayment plans. But I'm planning to retire in a few months and won't be able to make the payments as I have been.
February 14, 2010 |
With all the bad news about underwater homeowners and strategic walkaways, you might think that U.S. homeowners' equity holdings are continuing to slide. But a little-publicized recent statistic on real estate is that home equity is again on the rise. Is that some piece of rosy propaganda put out by housing lobbyists to stimulate more home buying? Not unless you consider Federal Reserve economists to be shills for the real estate industry. The Fed conducts massive ongoing research into mortgage balances and home-value changes in hundreds of local markets around the country, and reports its findings quarterly.
January 18, 2013 |
A breach-of-contract suit filed against comedian Adam Carolla by three former business associates suggests that the new media world may not be all that different from old Hollywood. Producer Donny Misraje -- who claims to have persuaded the radio and television personality and longtime friend to use podcasts to reach his listeners -- filed suit against Carolla on Thursday in Superior Court in Los Angeles. Misraje is joined in the suit by his wife, Kathee Schneider-Misraje, a creative director, and Sandy Ganz, who helped rebuild and maintain websites for the company's podcasts and co-hosted a show, "CarCast," with Carolla. The trio allege Carolla failed to distribute their share of the profits in the podcasting business -- or even provide an accurate accounting of the books -- in violation of an oral partnership agreement.